(3) Marquette Takes On (4) Syracuse for Final Four Berth


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Tom Maguire/BIG EAST Conference/Collegiate Images/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — An elite Big East battle.

(3) Marquette (26-8) takes on (4) Syracuse (29-9) Saturday, in an Elite Eight matchup, with the winner earning a trip to Atlanta to play in the Final Four.

Syracuse handily took care top-seeded Indiana to earn a berth in this game, and really hasn’t been challenged in any of its tournament games.

“We realize we have a tremendous challenge ahead of us with Marquette,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “They beat us early in the year and their playing at a really high level right now.”

After winning its first two tournament games by a combined three points, Marquette dominated Miami by 10 to earn the right to play in the Elite 8.

“I would love not to play a Big East opponent after the last Big East Tournament game,” Marquette head coach Buzz Williams said. “But having said that, Syracuse is deserving of the right to be at this point. I think they’re playing way better than they were playing when we played them in late February.”

If that’s the case, Marquette better watch out. While Marquette beat the Orange in February, it was anything but a blowout.

The Golden Eagles won 74-71 and never led by more than eight.

Marquette forward Davante Gardner scored a career-high 26 points in the win. Since then, Gardner hasn’t scored more than 14 in a game.

Marquette and Syracuse tip off at approximately 4:30 p.m. eastern, Saturday.

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